Cambodia Investment Review
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) have officially announced Justin Whyatt as Australia’s next Ambassador to Cambodia replacing Pablo Kang – as Australia and Cambodia look to increase both diplomatic and economic cooperation after the Kingdom hosted a successful ASEAN Summit.
In a media release Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong announced the appointment of Mr Justin Whyatt as Australia’s Ambassador to Cambodia.
“Cambodia is an important regional partner to Australia and a valued member of ASEAN. This year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two nations. Our relationship is built upon strong people-to-people links, education and cooperation on strategically important issues including transnational crime and COVID-19 recovery,” Penny Wong said.
“Mr Whyatt is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Assistant Secretary, Indo-Pacific Strategy and Regional Maritime Branch. He has previously served overseas in Washington and Phnom Penh,” she added.
She also thanked outgoing Ambassador Pablo Kang for his contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Cambodia since 2019.
In May this year, DAFT hosted a roundtable aiming to increase the amount of investment into Cambodia by hosting a roundtable discussion with Australian investors and Cambodian government officials.
The roundtable was organized by TradeWorthy Director Sven Callebaut and co-chaired by H.E. Nut Unvoanra, Deputy Secretary General of the Cambodian Investment Board, Australian Deputy Ambassador to Cambodia Andreas Zurbrugg, representatives from the Cambodian Government and leading Australian investors.
The discussion centered on addressing both the challenges and opportunities faced by Australian investing in Cambodia as well as the barriers of convincing investor to bring in capital and fund new business ventures.
Opening the event Andreas Zurbrugg set the tone for the discussion remarking, “Foreign Direct Investment is like water, it follows the path of least resistance”.
H.E. Nut Unvoanra added that listening to investors especially those already established in Cambodia was a key priority of the CBC to ensure it had the levers right to attract more quality investment from destination such as Australia.
Speaking about the challenges faced by Australian’s doing business in Cambodia two common themes repeated was of the need for Cambodian ministries to reduce repetitive paperwork and to better unify the ministries through its single portal application.
According to DFAT total two-way goods trade with Cambodia in 2020 was valued at $432.4 million, up 21.6 per cent on 2019. Australian total goods exports to Cambodia in 2020 was valued at $121.4 million, up 43.5 per cent on 2019.
Australia’s existing commercial interests are focused in education services, food and beverage, financial services, mining and resources, hospitality and garment sourcing.